Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Adhering to a weight standard in ancient coinage based on the example of cistophori

Sep 14, 2022, 9:00 AM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Baerbel Morstadt Wolfgang Bretz (Ruhr University Bochum Institute of Archaeological Studies )


As part of an interdisciplinary project a wide range of non-destructive and destructive examinations of cistophori were carried out in order to answer archaeometallurgical questions. The destructive testing methods include the examples minted before 39 BC. The non-destructive testing methods include those minted up to the Hadrianic era. Destructively examined coins delivered information about the structure of the patina and their microstructure. These enabled conclusions to be made about production processes. A significant discovery is the presence of foreign particles (conventionally called planchet defects) which we called capsules. In our opinion, those capsules were used to achieve a standard weight for underweight planchets according to the Aeginetic standard. These capsules could be detected metallographically in the sections of 10 out of 16 coin halves as well as in non-destructive computed tomography scans.

Primary author


Wolfgang Bretz (Ruhr University Bochum Institute of Archaeological Studies )

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